Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer
Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills authored by Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer. AB 752 and AB 805 are the freshman member’s first successful legislative efforts.
Assembly Bill 752 allows those with sentences that were changed to local supervision under Realignment to serve in a work furlough program if the person is deemed suitable by the work furlough administrator, which is usually the chief probation officer or sheriff.
Assembly Bill 805 clarifies that judges may use risk assessment reports in setting, reducing or denying bail. This is an attempt to ensure released inmates are neither a threat to society nor a potential perpetrator of additional crimes while awaiting trial.
“On the one hand we need work furlough programs to ensure formerly incarcerated peoples are prepared to navigate the real world and on the other hand we must ensure our judicial system is doing their part in determining which newly arrested people are unfit for the streets,” said Jones-Sawyer who is the chair of Assembly Budget Sub-Committee #5 on Public Safety and a member of the Assembly Public Safety Committee.
Assembly Bill 805 is important in helping to assess the risks associated with the granting of bail. These include considering a defendant’s outstanding warrants, “failure-to-appears,” criminal record and written verification of residence.
The aim of Assembly Bill 752 is to help reduce recidivism and assist with the reintegration of former inmates as a part of productive society. Employment still remains a significant determinant in whether or not a convicted person returns to jail, work furlough programs are an attempt to mitigate the problem with transitional employment, job training, and school while completing custody commitments for appropriately screened inmates.
The remainders of Jones-Sawyer’s bills have made it out of initial policy committees and are awaiting final votes.
Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones- Sawyer Sr. is a Democrat representing areas of Los Angeles and the communities of Huntington Park, Walnut Park and Florence- Firestone.